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Beware Of Brown Recluse Spiders This Summer

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) - Doctors are seeing an increase in the number of Brown Recluse spider bites.  Local 24's Tish Clark met with a teenager from Kennett, Missouri who was bitten two months ago, and she's still receiving treatment.

17-year-old Darcy Campbell says she was bitten by a brown recluse at a hotel in Atlanta, Georgia. She says she didn't check the bed sheets, and she's paying for it now.

"I almost passed out. I knew something was wrong,” said Darcy. "It made me cry it hurt so bad."

Darcy was vacationing in Atlanta, Georgia in May. She believes a brown recluse spider bit her while she was sleeping. She went to the doctor a couple of days later. The back of her thigh looked bad.

"I noticed that her leg looked like she had a carpet burn. And it was a bruise at the end,” said Darcy’s mom Gayla Campbell.

Darcy’s mom couldn't believe a little spider could do that much damage. "It's hard to see ‘em hurt."

Baptist Hospital infectious disease specialist Dr. Stephen Threlkeld says most of the time brown recluse bites don't cause serious complications.

"Those that do have the problem will have a sunken in area that will dry out and have some redness around it,” said Dr. Threlkeld.

Brown recluse spiders prefer to live around humans. They choose cool dark places to nest, like clothes and shoes left on the floor, stacked up papers and books, and they like to live in bed sheets.

"I can't do anything. I can't get out in the heat or anything,” said Darcy.

Darcy is hooked to a wound vac, which helps her bite drain. She's not sure how long it'll take to heal or what her leg will look like.

"I mean it's gonna be noticeable. And it's still not out of the question whether she'll have a skin graph done,” said Gayla.

Darcy tried to relieve the pain herself by keeping ice on her leg. That caused frost bite which doctors are also treating.

Doctors say it's tough to tell if a wound is a brown recluse bite or something else. It's best to have a doctor check it out.


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